Louisa Hawton gets off the canvas, outpoints game Lorraine Villalobos
At under 102 pounds each, Louisa Hawton and Lorraine Villalobos made their case for the best action fight of the night, pound for pound.
Hawton found herself on the canvas at the end of the sixth but fought her way back to win a unanimous decision Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. to retain her WBC interim atomweight title.
All three judges scored the fight 95-94 for the Perth, Australia native Hawton (10-2, 5 knockouts), who is now 2-0 against Villalobos (4-3, 2 KOs) of Los Angeles. Hawton won their first fight much more conclusively, a day short of a year ago, stopping Villalobos after the fifth.
On this night, Hawton had a tough time getting her rhythm going against the shorter foe, pushing the action but getting caught repeatedly with counter hooks in exchanges. One of those shots put her down, and seemed to hurt her seriously before the bell rang.
Hawton, 34, came back strong in the seventh, pushing the action and landing heavy shots to the body along the ropes. Villalobos, 23, continued to have great success as Hawton kept her head too high in exchanges but was unable to replicate the same success she had previously.
The win keeps Hawton in line to face the full champion of the 102-pound division, Fabiana Bytyqi (15-0-1, 5 KOs) of the Czech Republic. Hawton, who traveled to Japan to beat Kei Takenaka for the WBO junior flyweight title in 2016, told The Ring earlier on fight week that she would have no problems traveling to Europe to face Bytyqi.
The Hawton-Villalobos fight streamed live on Showtime’s online platforms prior to the beginning of their televised card headlined by Jermall Charlo vs. Dennis Hogan.